Posted by Jeff on Feb 10, 2021 10:25 am in Conservation | 0 comments | Last modified: February 9, 2021
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced that the Cades Cove Loop Road will be completely closed for three weeks in September 2021 to rebuild the popular road, which is used by more than 2 million visitors annually. The one-way street is closed to all motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders from Tuesday, September 7th to Monday, September 27th.
The road was completely reconstructed in 2010 and paved again. This preventive road treatment keeps the busy road in good condition and extends the life of the asphalt surface. A complete closure is required to allow the logistical movement of trucks and paving equipment along the narrow one-way street.
While the contract is expected to last for two months, the actual asphalt paving process will take place over the three-week blocking period. The work also includes the renewal of the campsite entrance road from Laurel Creek Road to Cades Campground and the parking lot next to the Cades Cove Campground Store. The campsite, picnic area, campsite shop and horse stables will remain open and accessible for the entire duration of the paving project.
In addition, the current road works in Cades Cove have been expanded along Forge Creek Road. Forge Creek Road has been closed to all uses since November 2, 2020 to replace five bridges. The closure has been extended to Saturday, July 31, 2021. Due to the complete removal of the bridges and the use of large equipment to carry out repairs, the road remains closed to all uses. The total closure will prevent all access (on foot, bike or horse) to Henry Whitehead Place and the Gregory Ridge, Gregory Bald and Hannah Mountain trailheads. Gregory Bald is accessible via hiking trails outside of the Cades Cove area, including the Wolf Ridge Trail, Long Hungry Trail, or a section of the Appalachian Trail. For more information on these routes, contact the Backcountry Office at 865-436-1297.
For more information on temporary road closures, see the park website at http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm.
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